Day’s End on Eel Pond
Mary Stewart Hammond

Day’s End on Eel Pond

Sunlight falls through holes in the clouds

spotlighting the marsh grass here and not there,

whitening a sail out on the water, leaving

others in shadow, shining the transom

of the moored cat boat, its bow disappearing.

The bobwhite calls its name without knowing it.

Sparrows and swallows, fussing and twittering.

line up like deacons on the deck railing,

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A Toast to Rabbie
Gerry Yukevich

A Toast to Rabbie

If a Scot be ripe for toastin’,

If a Scot be fit for praise,

If a Scot stands high above the rest

For the way he spent his days,

Let’s raise a cup now, all about,

And celebrate the cheer

That Rabbie Burns has brought to the world

Now for two hundred, fifty years.

Nay, no poet was ’ere as fecund or fine

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Budding

Budding

In our neighborhood the Russian Olive

Is first to extrude its buds.

Along its slender branches, and at their tips,

Ten thousand tiny commas and apostrophes

Suddenly appear in March.

Within them,

Deep down,

Are ten thousand unborn berries

That burst out in tart profusion

For me to gather on a September stroll,

To make my lips pucker in delight.

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Preparing Oneself for Dying

Preparing Oneself for Dying

Compulsively,

I strive to find a method

for a confrontation with what must be done

to save my children from the task of doing it when I die.

Make lists.

Make lists.

I sharpen pencils with an out-damn-spot intensity.

In shaded rooms,

on yellow pads,

I hide myself from sun

to settle my affairs:

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day

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Take This Poem

Take This Poem

Take this poem. No. Really

take it. It belongs to you.

Like anything you read.

It belongs. Like Hawaii’s

swaying palms, weighted

coconuts, rungs tying

the trunk of the tree. All.

Yours for free.

What did you think

your first grade teacher

was giving to you? Letters,

words, a dog with spots,

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Quansoo Forest

Quansoo Forest

Spiraled, twisted, screwed and swirled,

Knobbed and gnarled, hunched and burled,

Oaken shapes grotesquely curled,

Ever-howling wind has whirled.

From the stump and toward the sky,

Aged sprouts for sunlight vie,

Grapplings limbs are arching high,

Arms of wooden octopi.

Briny gale the ocean blows,

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Striped Bass Population in Major Decline
Dick Russell

Farewell Sunday on Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard rested quietly in the golden haze of her warmth,

Her sandy thighs cooling in the wide blue-white wash of the sea.

The passions of the night had wearied her,

But her rest was peaceful and she glowed,

Like burnished gold in the late morning, easy warming,

Sun of this so fine a Sunday.

A grey dorsal cut the crest of a Katama bound roller,

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If You Go to Sea

If You Go to Sea

If you go to sea you really must know

What to do when the wind she blows.

If weather bodes toward a nasty gale

You must, beforehand, shorten sail.

As the gale comes on and it gets quite rough

Head up to weather but don’t let sails to luff.

It’s a good idea to use a drogue

To keep the vessel under good control.

If when quite rough and stomach is sour

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Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims survived!

For this they praised the Lord

And thanked their Indian friends

Who taught them how to live

In this different land.

Like them we pause,

From daily toil and furrowed brow relieved,

To feast and laugh and play and rest,

And tell ourselves how much we’re blessed

In this hopeful land.

Could they have known,

Long years ago, where Moses’ trek would lead:

Stiletto heels and MTV,

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